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Running your business from home

Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name. If equipment such as a computer is also used for non-business purposes, your claim must be apportioned between business and private use. Business owners and employees may qualify for a home office deduction on their personal tax returns. Unfortunately, rent paid for an apartment is not deductible if the apartment is only used as your primary residence; however, if you open a small business, even on a part-time basis, and conduct the operations of that business from your apartment, you can deduct part of the rent paid as a home office deduction to the extent that the business has income to support the deduction. Mortgage interest is deductible on both first and second mortgages on property.

If you work from home you may be able to claim a deduction for some of the expenses relating to the area you use. Working from home. If you work from home you may be able to claim a deduction for some of your expenses relating to the area you use. Occupancy expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, insurance and rates.

Capital gains tax implications

Consider the available locations for your work. A person who works for someone else can claim a home office deduction in some instances. If you work from home for the employer's convenience, you are able to take the deduction. On the other hand, if you telecommute because you find it easier to work from home than to use the office your employer provides you, you probably can't claim the deduction.

You can't claim a home office deduction by renting your home to the company you work for and then working from the rented portion. Use the simplified option.

If you qualify for the home office deduction, the IRS offers a simplified method to calculate the dollar amount of your deduction. This method eliminates the need to track and file many of your actual home expenses. You can deduct the square footage up to square feet.

The amount is deducted on schedule A of your personal Form tax return. If you choose the simplified method, you cannot deduct a percentage of the actual mortgage interest, utilities and repair costs that relate to your home.

If you estimate that your actual costs are higher, you should consider using the normal home office deduction method. Figure out how much space your home office occupies. Your home office deduction is limited by the percentage of the home is used for business purposes. If your office occupies 25 percent of your total home space, or example, you can claim no more than 25 percent of household expenses.

An expense that benefits only your business, such as remodeling a bedroom into an office, is a "direct" expense that is fully deductible. An expense that benefits your entire house as well as your home business, such as putting a new roof on your house, is an "indirect" expense. The indirect expense is partially deductible, based on the home office portion of your home.

An expense that benefits only your living quarters, such as enlarging the master bedroom closet, is not deductible. Compute your deductible mortgage interest and real estate tax expenses if you own your home. If you rent, you can deduct what you paid in rent. These amounts are restricted by the proportion of your home that is used as your home office. You do not include assessments for public works projects that benefit you.

Mortgage interest is deductible on both first and second mortgages on property. You can also deduct home equity loan interest, but the total dollar amount of the deduction is limited. Mortgage interest and real estate taxes can be listed as itemized deductions on schedule A if they don't qualify as home office deductions. All taxpayers have the ability to deduct mortgage interest and taxes on schedule A. Go over the limitations of your home office deduction. There are also home deduction limits based on your business income.

Instead, the cost of your home is the amount used to depreciate the property. If you choose to use a method that allows for depreciation expense, you will gradually expense the original cost of your home using the home office deduction. Figure your total income for the year. You can only claim home office deductions up to the amount of business income for the year.

If your business expenses exceeded your business income, you can carry over the excess deductions to the following year's taxes. Figure the deductible expenses involved in running your home. Regardless of whether you own or rent the home, you can deduct expenses for insurance, utilities, and repairs. These rules also apply to apartments and condominiums. You can deduct the business percentage of what you pay for utilities such as heat and electricity, as well as services such as garbage collection, security and cleaning services.

You can also deduct specific telephone charges related to your business on your primary telephone landline and cellular phone, as well as the cost of a dedicated business line such as a fax line.

Calculate any casualty losses you may have. If your home office is damaged by criminal act or disaster, you can deduct some of the casualty losses. You must file a timely insurance claim. The taxpayer can deduct only the portion of the loss that your insurance reimbursement does not cover. If your actual reimbursement is higher than the estimate, the difference is considered taxable income to you. You can amend your original tax return to correct the reimbursement amount you received. If you only used the home office for part of the year, allocate the expense for the number of months the area was in use for business purposes.

The deduction for the home office expense cannot exceed the gross income of the business; however, you can carry over the disallowed home office deduction to the next year. If you are not certain how to file a tax return for a home-based business, hire a tax professional to assist you with preparation. Kaye Morris has over four years of technical writing experience as a curriculum design specialist and is a published fiction author.

She has over 20 years of real estate development experience and received her Bachelor of Science in accounting from McNeese State University along with minors in programming and English. Skip to main content. Tip If you are not certain how to file a tax return for a home-based business, hire a tax professional to assist you with preparation. About the Author Kaye Morris has over four years of technical writing experience as a curriculum design specialist and is a published fiction author. Home Guides SF Gate.

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Even if you rent, but work from home, you may be able to claim the home office deduction on your federal income taxes. Running your business from home. If you do only some business or work from home, Deductions you can claim. Where your home is also your place of business, you can claim deductions if you carry out income-producing work at home and incur expenses in using your home for that purpose. Are you one of the many self-employed people carrying out work from home? This guide will enable you to accurately claim for the business use of your home. Working from home? Make sure you claim these expenses. then you have two options to work out how much to claim for business use of home. FreeAgent is easy-to-use accounting software.